Boy Scouts Settlement for Sex Abuse Claims to Result in $850M Compensation Fund

The Boy Scouts of America have agreed to settle about 60,000 sexual abuse claims, paying about $850 million to compensate survivors who were assaulted by Boy Scouts volunteers or employees.

Notice of the settlement agreement was disclosed in bankruptcy proceedings this week, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, but the deal still need a judge’s approval.

The agreement was reached between the Boy Scouts of America, the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice and other groups, allowing the Boy Scouts to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of the year, according to the filing.

Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last year, as it faced a growing number of lawsuits, which alleged the organization failed to protect children from individuals with a known history of abusing children, and covered up decades of credible reports of problems.

While it was initially expected there would be about 50,000 claims, eventually claims were submitted through the bankruptcy proceedings by nearly 90,000 former Boy Scouts and other individuals, claiming they were abused or assaulted as children through negligence of the organization. It is the largest sex abuse case involving a national organization in U.S. history.

The Boy Scouts settlement agreement was crafted by attorneys representing the BSA, attorneys representing local councils, and attorneys representing the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice. Insurers have raised questions about the proposed settlement, however, protesting that they were not part of the negotiations.

In March, the BSA filed a reorganization plan that included a proposed $300 million settlement fund for victims of child sexual abuse. However, the average settlement would have only been $6,000 per plaintiff, which critics said was far too low.

Over the past few years, information has emerged that uncovered a long history of the Boy Scouts of America organization burying information about known threats to children by keeping secret “perversion files” on those considered to be sexual predators who had worked with the organization.

Prior information suggested that between 1944 and 2016, there were 7,819 perpetrators nationwide who were either troop leaders or volunteers, believed to have abused at least 12,254 victims. However, it now appears the scope of the problems in the Boy Scouts was much larger than initially thought.

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